Worker Wins Update: April Showers Bring Big Wins for Workers

Workers across the country have stood up in the past month to fight for better wages and working conditions.

Harvard Hotel Workers Make Smart Choice to Organize: Following a two year campaign, workers at the Soldiers Field Road DoubleTree Hotel, located in a building owned by Harvard, voted to organize with UNITE HERE Local 26. The workers will join Harvard dining hall workers as well as Boston-area hotel staff in the local union.

Next Stop for Double Decker Bus Tour Guides: A Union: Workers at a double-decker bus tour company in New York City have voted to join Transport Workers (TWU) Local 100, fighting back against poor working conditions and pay cuts. Local 100 currently represents some 40,000 transit workers throughout New York City.

Casino Workers Go ‘All-In’ on Union: The cards at the Horseshoe Baltimore Casino will be dealt by union members after workers voted to join the National Gaming Workers Coalition, which includes UNITE HERE, UAW and Operating Engineers (IUOE).

Toady’s Lesson at Detroit Charter Schools: Forming a Union: Teachers from three Detroit charter schools have come together to file petitions to be represented by the Michigan Alliance of Charter Teachers & Staff, a local union affiliated with the AFT.

Gawker Writers Submit Stories and Union Cards: Workers at Gawker Media announced that they will be forming a union with the Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO in New York City. Gawker writers cited need for a fair salary and stated clearly that “every workplace could use a union.”

Alaska Nurses Find the Right Prescription, Affiliate with AFT: In a move to strengthen the voices of nurses in Alaska, the Alaska Nurses Association Labor Program agreed to affiliate with AFT Nurses and Health Professionals. With this affiliation, AFT now represents 113,000 health care professionals across the country.

Rutgers Faculty Win Big in Classroom and at Bargaining Table: Nearly 4,700 full-time faculty and graduate teaching assistants signed a new contract protecting members from salary freezes, health care rate hikes and promising a raise in wages throughout the life of the contract. The contract, fought for by members of the American Association of University Professors–AFT, also will provide protections for about 7,000 graduate teaching assistants.

Howard University Physicians On-Call for Better Pay, Benefits: Resident physicians at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C., have asked hospital officials to negotiate a new contract with their newly formed union after the National Labor Relations Board upheld the results of its January election last week.

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW

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Community Organizers, Worker Centers Get Big LIFT

Photo courtesy of VOZ

The AFL-CIO announced today the third round of LIFT [Labor Innovation Fund for the Twenty-First Century] Fund grants, which will be awarded to a diverse group of organizations that are organizing workers outside of traditional models.  Past recipients include the Los Angeles Black Worker Center, which helps workers such as LeDaya Epps to find good-paying jobs through apprenticeship programs. LeDaya attended the 2015 State of the Union address at the invitation of first lady Michelle Obama.

The VOZ Workers Center in Portland, Ore., is one of the grant recipients, and Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain said:

In Oregon, we stand up for all workers and are proud to help support innovative partnerships that help with that fight. We’re proud to be a labor partner in the LIFT Fund’s grant process and even more excited to help fuel worker empowerment.

The fund was established in 2011 as a partnership between the AFL-CIO and philanthropic institutions that share the federation’s vision for a world in which workers are treated by employers with the dignity they deserve.  Partners include the General Service Foundation, the New World Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Solidago Foundation and the Discount Foundation. The LIFT Fund is the first of its kind to support collaboration and innovation around new forms of worker organizing between worker centers and traditional labor.

This year’s grantees comprise a diverse set of workers and sectors, including domestic workers in Connecticut fighting to strengthen legal protections and day laborers in California working to learn new skills. The primary purpose of all grants is to support work at the local or state level and is focused on helping develop power among vulnerable populations of workers, including immigrants, African Americans, women and rural workers. The money goes exclusively to the worker center but envisions on the ground collaboration with the local labor movement to expand local power.

Montague Simmons, director of Organization for Black Struggle in St. Louis, Mo., said:

We recognize that our struggle is inextricably linked to the fight for economic justice. The LIFT grant will support our work to engage and organize those who have been at the forefront of our fight and who also tend to be the most vulnerable to the economic violence waged against our communities.

Grantees are:

  • Organization for Black Struggle, St. Louis (Labor Partner: Painters and Allied Trades District Council 58)
  • CLEAN Carwash, Los Angeles (Labor Partner: United Steelworkers Local 675)
  • Chinese Progressive Association, San Francisco (Labor Partner: UNITE HERE Local 2)
  • Community Voices Heard, New York (Labor Partner: AFSCME District Council 37)
  • Lynn Worker Center for Economic Justice (Labor Partner: North Shore Labor Council)
  • Make the Road/NYCC (Labor Partner: RWSDU)
  • NDLON, Los Angeles (Labor Partner: LA County Federation)
  • NDWA/Brazilian Immigrant Center, Connecticut (Labor Partner: UAW Region 9A)
  • National Guest Workers Alliance, New Orleans (Labor Partner: Ironworkers Union)
  • ROC-United, National (Labor Partners: United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council)
  • Sunflower/Kansas People’s Action, Wichita, Kansas (Labor Partner: Wichita/Hutchinson Labor Federation and CWA)
  • VOZ Workers Center (Labor Partner: Oregon AFL-CIO)
  • Vermont Workers Center (Labor Partner: Vermont State Labor Council)
  • Warehouse Workers Resource Council (Labor Partner: UFCW Western States Council)

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW

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